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Dive Review of Kasawari Lembeh Resort in
Indonesia/Sulawesi, Lembeh Strait

October, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Pat Watson, OK, USA (2 reports)
Report Number 3060
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Galapagos Islands.  Fiji.   Indonesia:  Komodo, Alor, Wakatobi, Raja Ampat.
   Caribbean:  Grenada, Curacao, Little Cayman, Bahamas, Roatan, Utilla,
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy, dry  
calm, noCurrents  
Water Temp
78   to 80    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
5 stars  
[None]Best ever seen by myself or professional underwater photographers who
were there with us.  Camera room with 17 stations, each with 2 charge
points and storage shelf.  Cameras brought to and from boat in individual
baskets by the crew and placed in lock-down  spots on boat where nothing
could bump against them.  Rinsed in giant tanks by crew.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
5 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
5 stars    
Kasawari Lembeh Resort, October, 2006.  Bob and Pat Watson
(  Grand Lake, OK.  Experience 251-500 dives.  Vis. 30
to 60 ft.  Water temp. 78 - 80F.  Quite windy, so some chop, but never a
problem.  - - - This stunning, new addition to the Lembeh Strait resorts
opened in August, '06, two months before our arrival.   When we arrived,
there were only three other divers there, all well known underwater
photographers who have been "everywhere".  Their concensus was
that within a year, you will have to book many months in advance to get a
reservation.  It is that superior, in every way.    (See resort pictures at by clicking on the SECOND site there,  dated September
16, '06, and then to the "Back to North Sulawesi" entry.)  There
are only ten villas, accomodating 20 divers.    Villas 1 and 2 have  decks
and gazebos out over the water, and are significantly larger than the
others,  with ENORMOUS two-sink bathrooms.   All villas have both indoor
and outdoor state of the art showers with seemingly unlimited VERY HOT
water.  Rooms are equipped with mini bars and coffee makers, and will have
broadband internet soon.      We were in Villa #1,  which is right next to
the infinity swimming pool.  Morning coffee  in our deck  gazebo was so
special, watching the sunrise and fishing boats.     It's a photographer's
heaven.  The large camera room is right above the dock.  It has 17 work
stations,  each with two charging points and  storage shelf.  Crew brings
cameras to and from the camera room to the boat in individual baskets which
are placed on the boat in locked down storage spots, so that they are
secure and protected from other cameras, gear, etc., etc.   Crew rinses
cameras IN the baskets.  The huge and beautifully outfitted dive platform 
has immense rinsing tanks specifically for  wetsuits, cameras, etc.,   
Three dive boats have enclosed front areas for return trip comfort out of
the wind.  You never handle gear.  I am seventy-five, and the crew was SO
eager to help me up, lifting the tank and making sure I felt no strain on
my back.    At the end of every dive, you are greeted with a hot, steaming
towel for face and head,  a dry towel for wrapping up in,  water and fresh
fruit.  Hot chocolate on night dives!   Be prepared:  the water can be 
COLD.  My three mil suit, which I have worn comfortably all over Indonesia,
even in the cold waters of Komodo,  was not enough, and I rented a 5mil
from the resort.  Bob was fine in his 3-5-3.  But other reviews in the
Chapbook give warmer water temps, so this may have been colder than usual. 
 - -  Staff  is totally concerned with meeting your every need.  Charming
Anita is your hostess, greeting you with her dynamite smile and personality
when you arrive, and making sure that everything is to your satisfaction.  
The dive guides are terrific,  and know the area thoroughly,  many having
come over from other Lembeh resorts.   

Lembeh has perhaps the most spectacular muck diving in the world.   
Chapbook reviews of the other resorts list the hard to find cvritters in
detail, so I won't duplicate all that.  But Tony's blog review, cited
above,  is  an excellent source of what to expect.  (And I highly recommend
you check out his website for some of the most glorious underwater photos
around!)  Particularly memorable for me was the discovery of so many
incredibly beautiful Banggai cardinalfish sharing the anemones with a wide
variety of anemone fish.    I had only seen pictures of them, as they are
only found by Banggai Island and lately in the Lembeh Strait.   Other
outstanding sightings:   two free swimming 8 to 10 foot long eels on a
night dive, one a lovely white snake eel, and one not in the books, and
that no-one could name - -- a lovely greenish blue, with tiny black fins on
either side just behind the head.  (I have video if anyone wants to help
identify him!)    Flying gurnards everywhere,   sometimes in groups,
putting on impressive shows with "wings" extended,  a brilliant
yellow rhynopias,  all manner of frog fish, and a free swimming stargazer,
who promptly buried himself in the sand.   There are also several lovely
reefs  where you see all the usual reef fish and beautiful corals. 

We flew Singapore Airlines'  new Economy Plus, non-stop flight from LAX to
Singapore.   REALLY roomy, comfortable seats, 80 "movie on
demand" channels, knee and footrests, complimentary alcohol and
non-alcohol drinks, and those gorgeous and so smilingly attentive flight
attendants.  (Remember when U.S. airlines cared about  service?)   Be sure
to take advantage of Singapore Airlines' Stopover Holiday program to get 
half price or more off your hotel, airport transfer, and many other
From Singapore we flew to Manado and then to Sorong  in Papua, as we were
revisiting Raja Ampat on the Grand Komodo Tours and Dives liveaboard, 
Putri Papua  (our review is in the '06 Chapbook.)  After Raja Ampat we
returned to Manado  for the van road trip and a short boat ride to the
Kasawari Lembeh Resort.  The transfer comes with your Kasawari package.)  
The nicest hotel in Manado is the beautiful, new,  Quality Hotel.    Most
others are pretty pitiful.

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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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